What is this?
This is a patriotic illustration by British artist Joseph Simpson from the publication, Canada in Khaki
. It shows ‘the Motherland’ welcoming a colonial soldier back from the front (the German helmets on the backpack suggest a returning, and victorious, soldier). The image articulates the gratitude Britain should feel to its colonial territories, but it is the title rather than the image that suggests a mother welcoming the soldier home. Indeed, without the caption one would perhaps instead view the figure of Britannia as a girlfriend or wife of the returning soldier.
Where is it from?
The illustration is from Canada in Khaki
, a journal published to illustrate Canadians’ actions on the front and raise money for the Canadian War Memorial Fund. Set up by Sir Max Aitken the fund set out to illustrate the contribution of Canadians mobilised for the war, a force in excess of 600,000 individuals. The Fund employed a number of artists and illustrators some of whom were members of Canada’s ‘Group of Seven’, a group of Canadian landscape painters active between the First and Second World Wars.